Nearly 900 children died of heatstroke since 1998, because they were left or became trapped in a hot car. It’s important for everyone to understand that children are more vulnerable to heatstroke and that all hot car deaths are preventable. We — as parents, caregivers, and bystanders — play a role in helping to make sure another death doesn’t happen.
Know the Facts
- A child's body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult's. When a child is left in a hot vehicle, that child's temperature can rise quickly — and they could die within minutes.
- Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees.
- A child can die when their body temperature reaches 107 degrees.
- In 2020, 25 children died of vehicular heatstroke.
- In 2018 and 2019, we saw a record number of hot car deaths — 53 children died each year — the most in at least 20 years, according to NoHeatstroke.org.
Everyone Can Help Prevent Hot Car Deaths
Parents and Caregivers
1. Never leave a child in a vehicle unattended — even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running, and the air conditioning is on.
2. Make it a habit to check your entire vehicle — front and back — before locking the door and walking away. Train yourself to Park, Look, Lock, or always ask yourself, "Where's Baby?"
3. Ask your childcare provider to call if your child doesn’t show up for care as expected.
4. Place a personal item like a purse or briefcase in the back seat, as another reminder to look before you lock. Write a note or place a stuffed animal in the passenger's seat to remind you that a child is in the back seat.
5. Store car keys out of a child's reach and teach children that a vehicle is not a play area.
Everyone — Including Bystanders
Secure Your Car
Always lock your car doors and trunk, year-round, so children can’t get into unattended vehicles.
Act Fast. Save a Life.
If you see a child alone in a locked car, get them out immediately and call 911. A child in distress due to heat should be removed from the vehicle as quickly as possible and rapidly cooled.